The 2023 spring anime season has the usual basket of adapted works from manga, light novels, and games. But it has original stories too! There’s the continuation of BIRDIE WING from Bandai Namco and The Marginal Service from Studio 3Hz. But there’s a third one aimed at the hearts and minds of anime, manga, video games, and contemporary digital media fans. Otaku. Magical Destroyers (魔法少女マジカルデストロイヤーズ, Mahou Shoujo Magical Destroyers, Magical Girl Destroyers) shows us the fight to liberate Akihabara from the censorship and cancellation of modern otaku culture. Look at the final trailer before the April 7th premiere.
J-List has previously covered the premise and multimedia goals for the original anime from rookie creator Jun Inagawa and character designer Yuki Sawa. Crunchyroll’s press release about its spring anime streaming schedule confirmed new details for Magical Destroyers. First, that’s what the title will be in English. Good to know! Second, the American streamer has an official synopsis for the anime.
“Freedom of expression is threatened when a mysterious group, the SSC, destroys Japan’s otaku culture. However, a young revolutionary, Otaku Hero — who loves the culture more than anything — rises. With the help of three rambunctious magical girls — Anarchy, Blue, and Pink — they’ll team up to create a world free of this oppressive rule. Be part of the rebellion to bring back fandom!”
Magical Destroyer’s official website has more information on the SSC and its otaku internment camps. It doesn’t tell us what SSC stands for, but I will guess it’s something close to the “Safety and Security Committee.” Is this what happens when the morality code enforcers in high school wage an all-out assault on “prohibited material” in 2008 Japan? We’ll have to watch to find out.
Magical Girls and Otaku Combine Forces
Magical Destroyers mixes and mashes up several anime genre formulas to give the action-packed version of SHIMONETA. The 2015 comedic anime took on the subject of banned taboo expressions about sex and vulgarity. Magical Destroyers applies a farcical filter to the global rise of fascism in the 1930s. But in the ghettos and concentration camps of filthy otaku, rebellion stirs with the help of a mysterious creature named Kyoutarou. Did he give powers to the magical girls, Anarchy, Blue, and Pink? We’ll have to watch to find out!
I appreciate how Magical Destroyers makes distinctions between the different otaku who populate the shops in Akihabara. Obsessive fans can be found everywhere. So the SSC rounded up military, game, train, JSDF, anime, idol, and pro-wrestling adherents. Otaku Hero dresses as the stereotypical male with coke-bottle glasses, a headband, and a backpack full of posters.
The SSC has fun with the patterns of sci-fi supervillains. Where did SHOBON, the leader of the censorious group, develop his hypnosis and brainwashing technology? Are the Four Heavenly Kings, SHOBON’s lieutenants, also scientifically enhanced? Or are they magically powered like the magical girls? We’ll need to watch to find out.
The Destructive Cast and Crew of Magical Destroyers
As with any original story and animation, we must examine the staff’s previous works to build or temper our expectations. Creator Inagawa’s background is in illustration, and character designer Sawa has no track record in anime. The success of Magical Destroyers will rest on Director Hiroshi Ikehata and writer Daishirou Tanimura. Director Ikehata is a busy man this season, as he also helms the second season of Tonikaku Kawaii (also the first season). But he has directed three seasons of magical girls in Kiratto Pri☆chan, so that boosts confidence. Writer Tanimura wrote scripts for Gen Urobuchi’s Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet while contributing scripts to the recent anime series SPYxFAMILY. Can he keep a story arc together for an entire twelve episodes? We’ll have to watch to find out.
The voice actors are solid veterans, so I have no worries there. The otaku group makes the cast a giant ensemble, so let’s concentrate on the lead characters.
- Otaku Hero — Makoto Furukawa (Miyuki Shirogane from Kaguya-sama: Love is War). His only outstanding ability is his sense of justice. Magical girls and other otakus like him a lot.
- Anarchy — Fairouz Ai (Power from Chainsaw Man). The foul-mouthed tsundere transforms into a magical girl by pulling her costume out of a backpack. Quickly!
- Blue — Aimi (Julia from The Idolm@ster Million Live!). The cool-looking Blue can’t stop thinking about sex.
- Pink — Tomoyo Kurosawa (Rebecca from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners). The gas mask-wearing magical girl speaks in weird noises only Blue can understand.
- Nick — Kazuyuki Okitsu (Fat Gum from My Hero Academia). Otaku Hero’s friend and a super hacker.
- SHOBON — Souma Saitou (Vinegar Doppio from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind). The mysterious leader of the SSC oppresses otaku culture in the name of “protection.”
- Slayer — Yuu Serizawa (Mini Yaemori from Rent-A-Girlfriend Season 3). The graceful young lady carrying a parasol has a secret gutter mouth.
- Kyoutarou — Tomori Kusunoki (Makima from Chainsaw Man). The odd mascot character’s vicious tongue does not match his cuteness.
Will you be watching Magical Destroyers? Are you ready to liberate otaku culture from oppression? The revolution begins on April 7th on Crunchyroll, so let us know in the comments or online on Facebook or Twitter.
Magical girls can be great, but sometimes you want a magic woman. How about letting a mature healing touch cure your fatigue? Oku-sama no Kaifuku THE HOLE — Pure Love — Special Limited Edition is now in stock at the J-List store!